Wednesday, December 7, 2016


About 7:30 tonight he had reached target temperature of 97 degrees Fahrenheit. The doctor told us that they would take away the paralytic and sedation when he got to that temperature.
They said he wouldn't shiver at that point and then they would let him "wake up".

And that was the hope and prayers.

That he would wake up.

And be neurologically intact.

The unknown.

How long was he without oxygen?
Did he sustain brain damage?

What would happen?

The ICU isn't my baby.

ER medicine is what I am familiar with.
But Lynsey had worked in this very ICU just a few years ago and she had taken care of critically sick patients like this. She told me, "it might be a rodeo as he starts to wake up".
Apparently patients can have seizures, cardiac arrest and other critical issues as they come out of the sedation.

About 10 minutes after the sedation was gone Howie became very agitated and was trying to move his head away from the ET  tube.  I asked Lynsey "what is happening?"
She leaned toward Howie's head and started talking to her.
He didn't open his eyes but he turned his head toward her.

His nurse came in and was watching what was going on.

Another few minutes went by and he opened his eyes. You could tell that he was having a hard time focusing.
Pretty soon he was tracking and looking at us.

The nurse asked him to stick out his tongue.

And he did.

I lost it.
I cried and cried. I leaned in and told him I loved him so much. I said to him, "blink at me if you understand" and he did.
At this point the doctor came in and asked him to raise his right leg, he did.
"Give me a thumbs up" and he did.
Oh the joy and gratitude! So very thankful.

By this time it is about 8 or 9:00 at night. The doctor didn't want to extubate him (take out the breathing tube). They wanted him sedated through the night. You could tell Howie was very anxious and agitated. The doctor did not want that.
So they sedated him and told us they would take the tube out in the morning.

I have never been so incredibly thankful for anything in my whole life.

1 comment:

Julia said...

What an incredible moment. I can feel your joy at getting back the love of your life. This gives me shivers.
Hugs, Julia